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Police: Over 10,000 lbs of illegal marijuana and evidence of human trafficking on grow site near Sprague River

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O'Brien grow

SPRAGUE RIVER, Ore. - The Klamath County Sheriff's Office reports that a search on an illegal grow site yielded over 10,000 lbs of marijuana plants in various states of maturity. In addition, police say they found victims of human trafficking. The search took place on Tuesday, when the Klamath County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant at a property belonging to Erick Vianey Castillo-Vasquez, located west of Sprague River, in Klamath County. According to police, surveillance of the property showed 20 greenhouses with illegal marijuana inside.

When police arrived, they say several people ran off and they have not been found. Some were arrested however. Brian Valencia-Nieto, 22 of Mexico, Salvador Lopez-Lopez, 30 of Corning, California and Jose Anguiano-Perez, 48 of Pasco, Washington were arrested and lodged at the Klamath County Jail. All have been charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, unlawful manufacture of marijuana and unlawful use of groundwater.

The on-scene investigation revealed 20 large greenhouses, each measuring approximately 150 feet long. Also discovered was the illegal use of ground water to irrigate the marijuana. Deputies say they found infrastructure for drying in addition to stored and potentially harmful fertilizers.

There are allegations of human trafficking as well. Deputies observed multiple tents and bedding areas to accommodate numerous trafficked workers along with a considerable amount of trash and debris. Much of the debris consisted of thousands of feet of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) piping, plastic drip tubing, plastic greenhouse coverings and more. Trash and debris are scattered throughout the property. It is estimated that 360,000 gallons of water, over a period of 4 months, was illegally used to grow this amount of marijuana.

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